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News and Updates – St. Philip Lutheran

child reading a book during summer vacation

Continuing Education During the Summer Months

By | Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Extra Curricular Programs, Private School, Read Our Blog | No Comments

So much happens during the summer: family vacations, sleeping in, mid-week sleepovers, pool days, later bedtimes…the fun never ends! One thing that does come to an end is the structured learning time your child gets at St. Philip Lutheran School during the academic year. The end of the school year doesn’t have to mean the end of learning, though. Keep your child’s mental muscles strong this summer by providing the following educational opportunities:

  • Cook with them. Basic cooking skills are simply necessary for anyone who can’t afford to hire a full-time chef, but it is also educational. Using measurements reinforces math skills that were learned during the school year. Cooking – baking, in particular – is also a way to introduce your child to chemistry. Doubtful? See what happens when you add yeast to warm water, or forget to put a source of fat in a cookie recipe.
  • Be mad scientists. If your son or daughter has already mastered making slime, check out the internet for other safe science experiments to try at home. If all else fails, you can always resort to the good old standby – the baking soda and vinegar volcano.
  • Set aside time for reading and writing. This can be as simple as a 15-minute bedtime routine or as ambitious as a novel you read as a family; a sticky note grocery list to a complete analysis of literature. Whichever works for you, make sure your summer breaker is reading and writing daily.
  • Take family field trips. Teach your student about photosynthesis by taking a nature hike or help history come to life by visiting some of Chicago’s historical sites. Not only will this help your child learn, it will also create memories to last a lifetime.
  • Enroll your child in VBS and summer camps. Vacation Bible School continues your child’s spiritual education and provides them with opportunities to socialize with other kids their age. Find other camps that your child might be interested in (Robotics camp, anyone?) by searching online.

As adults, we know that there are endless opportunities to learn, but our kids may need some guidance in this endeavor until they figure it out for themselves. To find out more about our Vacation Bible School schedule or other extended learning opportunities, contact St. Philip Lutheran School. Winter, summer, spring, or fall, your child’s education is our priority.

students using computers in a private school

Technology In the Classroom

By | Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Private School, Read Our Blog, Technology | No Comments

No matter how you feel about technology, it’s here to stay. As much as it may pain us to see kids bury their noses in cell phones or become red-eyed after too much screen time, learning to use technology is now a life skill just as much as knowing how to read. At St. Philip Lutheran School, we have integrated technology into our curriculum and scaffolded instruction that not only teaches students to utilize technology in daily life, but also teaches them to be responsible digital citizens.

Our Integrated Technology Curriculum
As with all other subject areas, our technology curriculum is skillfully designed to teach age-appropriate computer skills that increase in rigor from year to year.

  • First and second grade students learn the basic parts of the computer and begin to learn proper keyboarding techniques.
  • Third and fourth grade students begin to use digital textbooks, workbooks, and programs such as Microsoft Powerpoint and Word.
  • Fifth grade students continue to utilize Microsoft products, focusing on Word and Excel. Additionally, eBooks are used.
  • Sixth grade students continue to use Microsoft products with increased rigor.
  • Seventh grade students are introduced to Microsoft Access and begin to learn about using the internet for research and other academic endeavors.
  • Eighth grade students are assessed on their knowledge of Microsoft programs and prepared to use technology in high school.

Additional Technology Instruction
Our technology electives provide students with additional opportunities to use technology. This includes:

  • Assisting the instructor in the maintenance of an interactive website
  • Producing, taping, editing, and broadcasting a weekly devotional broadcast from our on-site television studio.

Our technology program is extended to the parents of our students. St. Philip offers continuing education programs in computer basics as well as use of the same Microsoft programs that are used by the students.

We are blessed to offer our award winning technology program because of the generous contributions and donations that have been made to our school. If you are interested in making a donation, attending our adult continuing education classes, or simply learning more about how we implement technology, contact our technology instructor, Mr. Rick Oppermann, at roppermann@stphiliplutheran.com.

School kids using digital tablet in classroom at a private school

How Private and Public Schools Differ

By | Culture, Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Private School, Read Our Blog, Technology | No Comments

At St. Philip Lutheran, we understand that selecting a school for your child is one of the most important decisions you have to make as a parent. Is private school a possibility? Are the public schools you are zoned for reputable? Ultimately, the environment in which your child will thrive is determined by his or her personality and individual needs. While there are many differences between private schools and public, the list below highlights those that we see most often.

  1. Class size – Generally speaking, because faculty salaries are supplemented by tuition, the student to teacher ratio in private schools like St. Philip are lower than in public schools. Moreover, private schools have the freedom to cap attendance when it appears that classes are too large to promote student success.
  2. Curriculum – Because private schools do not receive tax revenues, they are not required to adhere to state or nationwide curriculum standards such as Common Core. Private school curriculum is carefully chosen to ensure that each student can succeed not only in high school, but as a global citizen. This is why St. Philip is not only able to provide rigorous academic courses, but also spiritual education through our weekly chapel services and religious classes.
  3. Testing – While private school students are certainly capable of passing the ISAT, they are not held to the same standardized testing requirements as public school students. Our students are able to avoid the test anxiety that their peers in public school encounter in third, sixth, and eighth grades.
  4. Resources – Like teacher salaries, classroom resources such as laptops are supplemented by student tuition. Beginning in the first grade, students at St. Philip have access to tablets, e-readers, laptops, and other technology that is often hard to come by in public schools. Teaching students how to responsibly use technology is vital to their success in both the academic and post-academic worlds.

If you are considering making a switch from private to public or from public to private, we encourage you to do your research. Many schools hold open houses or group tours to allow parents and students to assess their facilities. If you are interested in learning more about St. Philip Lutheran or would like to schedule a tour, email us at info@stphiliplutheran.com

Mother holding daughters hand taking her to school

Tips For a Successful Morning Drop-Off

By | Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Private School, Read Our Blog | No Comments

Dropping your child off for school each morning can be a frenzied experience, to put it mildly. By the time your car pulls up to the drop off lane, you have already rushed to wake the kids up, made them breakfast, checked multiple times to make sure they’ve brushed their teeth, gotten them dressed, and ensured that they had backpacks and lunches, ready to go. Other than hiring a personal assistant, there are steps you can take to make the morning drop-off less hectic and more enjoyable for all.

  1. Don’t procrastinate. Anything that can be taken care of the night before should be. As soon as your family is in for the evening, go through backpacks, binders, and planners to check for homework or forms that may require your signature. Before your child goes to bed, have him or her set out their clothes for the next day. Before you go to bed, pack lunches and have them stashed in the refrigerator for the morning. The more you do ahead of time, the less rushed you’ll feel before getting the kids into the car.
  2. Be consistent. While we want our children to be adaptable, consistency is ideal when it comes to school. Make sure they know the routine: “We will all be in the car – teeth brushed and shoes tied – by 7:45.” Make sure you are modeling consistency as well; it’s hard to expect your children to stick to the routine if you are hopping into the car with a piece of toast at 8:00.
  3. Use travel time to get your kids ready and excited for the day ahead. Ask them what they think they’re going to do, what they want to learn, who they’re most excited to see. Avoid negativity (“You better not get caught with your phone again, today!”) and stick to topics that the kids enjoy. Getting them into the right frame of mind from the start will help them continue to feel encouraged throughout the day.
  4. Establish a goodbye ritual. Lengthy, tearful goodbyes are the last thing you and your children need. Instead, think of a quick gesture (such as a fist-bump) or saying (“Every day is a great day!”) that mentally transitions them from family time to school time.
  5. Stick to the plan. The doors at St. Philip Lutheran School open for students at 8:15. Make sure you drop off your child at the west entrance in plenty of time to socialize, get to class, and get settled before classes begin at 8:30. Adhering to the established drop-off procedures will not only get your son or daughter to class on time, it will also get you on your way in time to start your own day.

If you have questions about our drop-off procedures or have special circumstances that you might require your child to use another entrance (such as the use of crutches or a wheelchair), feel free to contact us at any time. We want you and your children to start every day in the best possible way.

father reading with his son and daughter

Encouraging Literacy Development at Home

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It’s no coincidence that the very first element of the “Three R’s” is reading. Along with writing, reading is a skill that all people need in order to be productive and successful in the global economy. And while we love teaching reading and writing at St. Philip Lutheran School, there is so much that can be done at home to encourage your child’s literacy development.

  • Read, read, and read some more! Even when your child can talk, they will benefit from hearing you read. Hearing sounds, rhythms, rhymes, and words ultimately help them learn to speak. An added bonus is that listening to a parent read provides opportunities for intimacy and bonding.
  • Be a reading role model. Make sure your child sees you reading regularly. If you’re not a book person, then read the newspaper or magazines in front of them. Like anything else, it’s important to practice what you preach; if you don’t show your family that you find value in reading and writing, then conveying the importance of literacy becomes difficult.
  • Visit reading spaces. All branches of the public library system have storytime for younger children. While you’re there, let your kiddo spend time with the books – even if it’s just to look at pictures. Make book check-out an occasion that they look forward to. Another option is to visit bookstores like Barnes and Nobles, as they also offer storytime for their young patrons.
  • Maximize organic opportunities. Looking for a street sign or landmark? Have your child help you find the letters. Need to make a list of things to pick up at the store? Let your child write it for you (or practice copying the same letters you used). Have fun with words by challenging your favorite little person to a rhyme-off. These activities do not need to be planned, simply enjoyed when the opportunities arise.

Even if you have a reluctant reader, the aforementioned hints can help him or her become less reluctant. The most important thing is to be consistent. Literacy development is a marathon; periodic sprints help, but there is nothing like years of training to prepare your child for life.

child with backpack, books and apple ready for kindergarten

How To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten

By | Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Kindergarten, Private School, Read Our Blog | No Comments

Starting school is a big deal for our kindergarten students; sometimes it’s an even bigger deal for their parents. Each year, we delight in the wide-eyed stares of the five-year-olds, the sentimental tears of their parents, and the enthusiastic grin of our kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Stewart. Other than making sure your child has every item on the supply list, though, how can you prepare your little one for their big day? At St. Philip Lutheran, we’ve observed this important rite-of-passage for years and have a few helpful hints that might make your child’s first experiences with school be the beginning of a lifelong love of learning.

  • Develop routines. Don’t wait until the last few days of summer; start routines early. Children thrive on routines that include a regular wake-up time, consistent mealtimes, and a reasonable bedtime that allows them to be rested and ready-to-go the next day. If you establish routines at home, your child will be better able to adapt to the routines they must adhere to in kindergarten.
  • Create opportunities for learning. In addition to helping your child learn letters, numbers, and colors, spend time reading with your child. Expose your child to art by visiting one of Chicago’s many museums or simply by pointing out and discussing the statues and sculptures you occasionally pass. Provide hands-on experiences with art or at-home science experiments. Anything you can do to get your little one excited about learning will help them succeed in school.
  • Provide opportunities for socialization. St. Philip offers Early Childcare for children ages two to four, but if your child is at home, you can still help them learn to interact with others. Going to storytime, playgrounds, or playdates will help your pre-kindergartener practice sharing, taking turns, helping, and expressing feelings – all skills that are needed in school.
  • Talk about it. Talking about kindergarten will decrease your child’s anxiety and increase their enthusiasm. Ask them what they want to learn. Allow them to talk to older siblings or friends about what they might expect from day-to-day. Attend open house or meet-the-teacher days so your child will recognize a smiling, welcoming face on the first day of school.

The most important thing you can do for your child to get them ready for school is being positive. If your child senses your sadness or anxiety, they could become fearful. Be enthusiastic about school, classmates, teachers, and learning to start their academic experiences on the right foot. If you are interested in enrolling your child in kindergarten at St. Philip Lutheran School, contact us today. We look forward to watching your child grow academically, socially, and spiritually.

teacher's desk with apple and kids desks in the background

How To Choose the Right Private School

By | Culture, Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Private School, Read Our Blog, Technology | No Comments

You want to do everything you can to ensure that your child will thrive. You take them to annual physicals, make sure they are vaccinated, bundle them up when it’s cold, enrich their lives with opportunities you may not have had, and provide them with all of the love a child could ever want. You also do what you can to make sure they thrive academically. Thriving in school doesn’t start with a well-stocked backpack, however. It starts with making sure your son or daughter is enrolled in the right school. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to private school, consider these other factors before you start filling out that application.

  1. Practicality – Is the school convenient? Not just to home, but to work, aftercare, and medical facilities? The idea of having your child in a neighborhood school is great – unless you commute 50 minutes every day. Think about the location, traffic patterns, school surroundings that could impact your little one, and transportation alternatives that may be necessary.
  2. Individuality – Think about how your child learns from and interacts with the world. If you know your little guy learns best with tactile activities like playing with letter magnets on your fridge, then a school that will require him to sit quietly with a workbook may not be the right fit. Inquire about the learning philosophies of each school. Do they believe in collaboration? Do they provide opportunities for play and imagination? Are they focused on STEM programs or do they emphasize the arts? Making sure your child’s learning needs are met is a critical step in helping them have a positive association with education.
  3. Amenities – For many parents, leaving work in time to be in the car pick-up line by 3:10 is difficult, if not impossible. If your child will need early care or after care, that is something to consider. Meals for your child may be another concern; if it’s important to you and tuition covers the cost of breakfast and lunch, be sure to mention so when you’re exploring your private school options.
  4. Extracurriculars – All kids need some kind of structured activity to help them become well-rounded. Whether they enjoy rigorous activities like a pickup game of football or calmer activities such as picking out a tune on your family piano, find a school that provides sports or music activities for your child.
  5. School Culture – If you were to be a fly on the wall of your child’s classroom, what would you want to see? If possible, visit schools while classes are in session. Pay attention to how the teachers interact with the students. Do the students seem to be comfortable? Do they hesitate to ask questions or know that it’s a safe environment? Talk to parents of other students, as well, to get their takes on the overall feel of the school.

Realistically, your child is not going to love every second of every day of school (and if they do, they’re probably not being challenged enough). While the occasional crummy day is to be expected, doing whatever you can to instill a love of learning in your son or daughter starts with making sure they are placed in the right school. If you have questions about St. Philip Lutheran School or would like to schedule a tour, contact us today at info@stphiliplutheran.com.

Skyline of Chicago where St. Philip Lutheran School is located

All About St. Philip Lutheran

By | Culture, Early Childhood Care (ECC), Education, Extra Curricular Programs, Private School, Read Our Blog, Technology | No Comments

While we may not have started as a school, St. Philip Lutheran has ministered to the Chicago community since 1893. Since then, we have grown beyond our expectations and are happy to share our humble history with you.

Our Timeline

  • 1893 – St. Philip Lutheran Church is established in the north side of Chicago
  • 1937 – The church opens the St. Philip Lutheran School with a total of 23 students
  • 1942 – St. Philip Lutheran officially becomes an accredited school
  • 1953 – The church completes the construction of a new building dedicated to the school
  • 1986 – St. Philip opened the Early Childhood Center to meet the needs of the local community
  • Present Day – St. Philip School provides over 200 students – from preschool to eighth grade – with spiritual, academic, and social educations each year.

Our Educational Goals

The priority of St. Philip Lutheran School is to provide each and every one of our students with a well-rounded education. It is our belief that nurturing a child spiritually, academically, and socially is required to create responsible adults who wish to contribute and lead as citizens of a global society.

  • Spiritual Education – Students are educated spiritually from the very beginning. Our early childhood students are introduced to stories of the Bible and Christian values. Our K-8 students obtain a spiritual education in their daily religion courses and weekly chapel services. Students are provided with opportunities to serve as spiritual leaders in chapel services, visits to local nursing homes, and participating in youth group activities.
  • Academic Education – While our education may begin with the FOUR R’s (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic, and religion), we certainly don’t stop there. St. Philip also offers technology, Spanish, music, and physical education courses, as well. After leaving St. Philip Lutheran School, our students are well-equipped to embrace the challenges of high school.
  • Social Education – While our students are accustomed to collaboration in the classroom, they also have opportunities for social education elsewhere. Our sports programs, clubs, and organizations such as Student Council allow our students to navigate the complex world of social interaction, preparing them to successfully function in the post-academic world.

What began as a small church has grown into a Chicago institution. We are grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to minister to, serve, and teach our community – each and every day.

Chicago Early Childhood Care

Early Childhood Care vs. Home Care: Which Will Better Suit Your Child?

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The decision to send your child to early childhood care or keep them at home is personal and unique to each family. Though the idea of letting others care for your two, three, or four-year-old may be frightening, you still consider your options: If not school, who will care for my little one? Is my special guy or gal ready to be immersed in a new situation? What if the school that I send my child to doesn’t hold the same values that I do? These are all valid questions, and whether you enroll your child in the St. Philip Lutheran School Early Childhood Care program or keep them at home, we want to help make the decision easier for you.

For Your Consideration

The idea of handing your child over to someone else may be your single deciding factor, but if you’re looking at the whole picture, consider the following:

  • Practicality – Is sending your child to an early childhood center right for you and your family? Is it convenient? Is it affordable? Will anyone in your family have to sacrifice too much to make it feasible?
  • Philosophy – What are the values of the school you’re considering? Are they strictly focused on academics or do they incorporate character education, as well? If you are unable to find a school that believes in teaching what is important to you and your family, then perhaps you are better off keeping them in home care until you find a more suitable center.
  • Academics – The day will come when your child will leave the early childhood center and begin a new adventure in kindergarten, but will they be prepared when that happens? When you explore your options, be sure to ask about the training and experience of the staff members; they must be well-versed in early childhood education and child development to sufficiently prepare your child for kindergarten.
  • Your Child – If your child has had problems that have prevented him or her from reaching age-appropriate benchmarks on time – such as the ability to walk or use simple words – then it may not be the right time to enroll them in an early childhood program. Involve your pediatrician in the decision. Observe how your child interacts with others; if socialization is exceptionally painful, then perhaps small playgroups under your watchful eye are in order until they are socially prepared for the world of early childhood education.

Only you can decide when your child is ready. Sending a child to school too early can be detrimental to their future associations with education, yet you don’t want your child to fall behind from the very beginning. With prayer and thoughtful consideration, the choice may be easier than expected. If you would like to learn more about the St. Philip Early Childhood program, contact us today. Each life that we get to shape is a blessing.